1) Maintaining healthy bones : Blueberries contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K. Each of these is a component of bone. Adequate intake of these minerals and vitamins contributes to building and maintaining bone structure and strength. Iron and zinc fulfil crucial roles in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints. Low intakes of vitamin K have been linked to a higher risk of bone fracture. However, adequate vitamin K intake improves calcium absorption and may reduce calcium loss.
2) Skin health : Collagen is the support system of the skin. It relies on vitamin C as an essential nutrient, and works to help prevent skin damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. Vitamin C may also improve collagen’s ability to smooth wrinkles and enhance overall skin texture. One cup of blueberries provides 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
3) Lowering blood pressure : Maintaining low sodium levels is essential to keeping blood pressure at a healthful level. Blueberries are free of sodium. They contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Some studies have shown that diets low in these minerals are associated with higher blood pressure. Adequate dietary intake of these minerals is thought to help reduce blood pressure.
4) Managing diabetes : Studies have found that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have low blood glucose levels, and people with type 2 diabetes who consume the same may have improved blood sugar, lipid, and insulin levels. One cup of blueberries contributes 3.6 grams (g) of fiber. A large 2013 cohort study published in the BMJ suggested that certain fruits may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults. Over the course of the study, 6.5 percent of the participants developed diabetes. However, the researchers found that consuming three servings per week of blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples or pears reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7 percent.
5) Protecting against heart disease : The fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content in blueberries supports heart health. The absence of cholesterol from blueberries is also beneficial to the heart. Fiber content helps to reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease. Vitamin B6 and folate prevent the buildup of a compound known as homocysteine. Excessive buildup of homocysteine in the body can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems.
According to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia, in the United Kingdom (U.K.) regular consumption of anthocyanins can reduce the risk of heart attack by 32 percent in young and middle-aged women. The study found that women who consumed at least three servings of blueberries or strawberries per week showed the best results.